New lottery funding available to support digital skills and resilience - Museums Association

New lottery funding available to support digital skills and resilience

Grants and training programmes now open for applications
Profile image for Eleanor Mills
Eleanor Mills
National Lottery Heritage Fund

Three lottery funding streams available to culture and heritage organisations have opened for applications in recent weeks.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) is distributing an additional £1m of funding for its Digital Skills for Heritage campaign, and is seeking organisations to help it support digital development and confidence across the UK heritage sector.

The funding is part of the wider £92m Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.

The additional funding will be administered across three areas:

  • A grant of up to £250,000 to an organisation or association in England to provide training and support for digital innovation and enterprise. This will help heritage organisations emerging from the initial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to make effective use of digital within their future plans.
  • Grants of up to £120,000 from a pot of £600,000 to organisations in England that can support open, networked and collaborative practice across the heritage community. This funding will provide support for the sector to build resilience, share expertise and make use of technology to create new digital volunteering opportunities, focusing on specific heritage topics.
  • A new grant that calls for organisations across the UK that can research and answer the heritage sector’s 100 most pressing and frequently asked digital questions. Grants of up to £250,000 from a total pot of £550,000 will be available for organisations to provide accessible, comprehensive and effective answers in a range of engaging forms, including ‘how to’ videos and short online courses.

Project enquiry forms must be submitted by 13 November and full applications must be in by 15 January 2021. The NLHF’s head of digital policy, Josie Fraser, said: “Since the launch of Digital Skills for Heritage we have made tangible progress in supporting heritage organisations to increase their digital confidence and abilities.”

Museums Galleries Scotland

Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) has launched a new business support programme to support heritage organisations in Scotland to develop sustainable business models. The Surviving to Thriving programme has been developed with Built Environment Forum Scotland and Greenspace Scotland, and is funded by the NLHF.

Designed to build resilience and upskill the heritage sector, Surviving to Thriving will invest in individual and organisational skills through building confidence and knowledge in business practice.

The initiative will deliver a comprehensive resilience and leadership training programme free of charge to approximately 40 heritage organisations across Scotland.

It will commence April 2021 and run for 18 months, with the expectation that organisations participate in between 20-30 days training within that time period. The programme is delivered free of charge and eligible organisations will be awarded a community grant to enable them to fully participate in the skills programme.

The programme is open for applications and closes at 1200 on Thursday 3 December.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England (ACE) has reopened its existing National Lottery Project Grants scheme, with additional guidance for obtaining funding for those applying before April 2021. The guidance outlines what has changed to make the fund more responsive to the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners during the Covid pandemic.

There are also some changes to the eligibility status of National Portfolio Organisations applying for ACE’s Project Grants.

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